Dialogue with Prithwindra MUKHERJEE – The Arrival in France
Bertrand de Foucauld: “You arrived in France in 1966.”
Prithwindra Mukherjee: “At the time, many people were interested in Indian culture.”
Bertrand de Foucauld: “Meditation? Hyppie and Buddhist cultures (Himalayas)?”
Prithwindra Mukherjee: “Few people are interested in Indian culture today.”
It was a desire that guided me to the European continent. The presence of this will manifested itself very concretely. It can be called differently: divine, purpose. Take, for example, the story of my grandfather which I will talk about in due course, in more detail: no properly historical lighting has highlighted it. No university in India would have accepted it as the subject of a thesis. Because the perspective of Sri Aurobindo and Jatindra did not exclude a possible armed insurrection against the colonial government. The legacy of nonviolence would show [as] “shocking” this willingness to sacrifice oneself to the end. Having carried out since 1955 my preparations for a research on the subject, finally I met in Raymond Aron the personification of Providence in 1974 who, not content to accept to supervise my thesis for the doctorate of Eat (University Paris IV- Sorbonne), qualified my theme as “missing link in our history”. He was fortunate enough to encourage me to go to the United States in 1981 with a Fulbright scholarship to supplement my archive data collected in India and Europe with that available in the American archives. There is no coincidence in life.”
Bertrand de Foucauld: “What are your emotional ties to India and France / Europe?”
Prithwindra Mukherjee: “Having lived in an airtight environment of purity and asceticism, having obtained control of certain forces at work in the world, I had experienced early success in my personal and social life: before the age of twenty, I was noticed by the deans of the Academy of Letters in New Delhi as “poet of the New Age”. Loved by all, having loved all, I ignored human love except that received from my parents and my brothers. Except the Love of the Divine embodied by the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.
Curious to know the reasons for the misery of the consumer society and convinced that I could remedy it, at the age of thirty I left my cozy nest in Pondicherry, leaving behind my elderly parents and two brothers. When I got to Orly, I knew there would be no one to greet me. I was alone in Paris. Alone with divine Grace. I greeted each day a new experience which went in the direction of my quest.”
Emana Chandini. Lyrics & music: Prithwindra Mukherjee (Courtesy of the author).
(Cover photo: Prithwindra Mukherjee in 1958).